Disney World Will End Requirement For Theme Park Reservations for Most Tickets

Walt Disney World just announced that they are changing a COVID-era policy that caused massive amounts of comments from guests on our site. We know that Disney heard these comments also. Currently, park guests must make a theme park reservation for the specific day they want to attend a park and purchase their theme park tickets.

Today Disney announced that they are making changes to this program to remove the need for theme park reservations for certain ticket types.

When will Disney World theme park reservations no longer be required?

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Disney shared that for theme park visits starting on January 9, 2024 theme park reservations will not be required for date-based tickets.

Disney defines date-based tickets as the standard option sold to guests on the Walt Disney World website where dates are selected when purchasing tickets. Most guests that purchase via a Walt Disney World vacation package or via a discount reseller should also not have to book park reservations. Disney has a specific page with details on who may still need park reservations. Disney also stated explicitly that non-dated tickets may still require theme park reservations.

Disney also shared that “Good-to-Go” days will be offered for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Cast Members for access to the theme parks. These dates will occur on “select days” on an ongoing basis. This change is in addition to the opportunity for Passholders to visit the four theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation except for at Magic Kingdom Park on Saturdays and Sundays. The same pass block out dates and capacity limitations will still apply.

Until January 9, 2024, Disney World theme parks reservations will still be required for guests. No update has been given on changes to the Disneyland theme park reservations system. Disney has previously relaxed the reservation system for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders during a set of large changes they announced in January.

There has not be any additional information or hints around Disneyland dropping their theme park reservation system at this time. While the change could come to Disneyland, Walt Disney World has always operated differently and this change there does not mean that we will see it at Disneyland. With this news, my prediction is that reservation requirements for multi-day tickets at Disneyland will be removed but that Magic Key Holders will continue to have some form of reservations required for at least the most popular days. The population of Disneyland guests varies dramatically from the Walt Disney World population. There are many more Magic Key Holders at Disneyland than there are day park guests. It would be relatively easy for Disneyland to make this same change at Disneyland have reservations tied to purchases of park tickets.

In our experience, the Walt Disney World reservation system has not caused a problem for those planning their trips far enough in advance to know which parks they want to visit on which days. The system largely caused problems for those planning last-minute trips and those who want the flexibility of making changes while already on a trip to Walt Disney World. We had multiple times where we wanted to pivot our trip days and were unable to due to the lack of park reservation availability.

Along with this announcement Disney also shared that the Disney Dining plan is returning in 2024 and that new changes will be made to Genie+ to allow for guests to make reservations in advance.

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About Gavin Doyle

Gavin Doyle is a best-selling author and founder of Mickey Visit. He is an expert on helping families save money and experience more at Disney, Universal, and beyond. He has been featured in Forbes, ABC7, Travel+Leisure, the OC Register, Orange County Register, LA Times, Yahoo! News, and more.

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3 comments add your comment

  1. Hey Howdy,

    So this is for WDW ONLY at this time ? Any idea or info on IF or when reservations might go away at the California parks (DLR) ???

    • That’s a great question Cody! We haven’t heard anything about Disneyland yet but hope that the change also comes to Disneyland tickets. We will be watching closely and will report when we know.

  2. Why does Disney World get their reservations take it away first why can’t they take away Disneyland🏩Why does Disney World get their reservations taken away first why can’t they take away Disneyland California reservation the same time

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